3 August 2014

Nigeria: Delta to Distribute 500 Tricycles to Commercial Operators

Delta Government said it had concluded arrangements to distribute 500 tricycles to commercial operators in the state at a subsidized rate.

The state's Commissioner for Transport, Mr Benson Igbakpa, who made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Asaba, said that each tricycle would be given to the operators at a N306,500.

Igbakpa said that the tricycles would be distributed in Ika North East Local Government Area and Sapele Local Government Area, where commercial motorcycle operation was recently banned by the state government.

He said that the distribution of tricycles was in line with the government's plan to phase out commercial motorcycle operation in all parts of the state, recalling that the exercise began in 2012.

According to him, in 2012 when commercial motorcycling was banned in Asaba and Warri, we procured 1,200 tricycles and added another 2,000 later, which were distributed to commercial operators.

Meanwhile, some commercial operators who benefitted from the earlier subsidized distribution have complained that the brand of tricycle given to them by the government was fragile and therefore, not durable.

One of them, Mr Kingsley Okafor, told NAN that the tricycles were not strong enough to withstand the rough roads in some parts of the state capital.

Okafor therefore called for a reduction in the price of the tricycles to enable the beneficiaries to recover money used in purchasing them, "before they wear out."

Another beneficiary, Kenneth Ijeh, corroborated Okafor's claim, saying that the "low quality Bajaj" brand given to them by the government was not as strong as others procured from the open market.

A NAN survey in Asaba revealed that India-made "TVS King" brand of tricycle, believed to be strong, sells for N430, 000 in the open market.

The survey also showed that the Chinese brand, which the operators described as the "original" Bajaj Re, also sells for N420,000.

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